The Albemarle Rd Cycle Scheme was a golden opportunity to use TfL funds to make cycling in Beckenham safer but was sadly, implemented badly by our Conservative-led council.
There was barely any consultation, making Westgate Road Bridge one-way was a major mistake and without taking the time to engage local people and recognise the wider impact of the scheme on residents living and travelling through this part of Beckenham. The Council have done a disservice to the benefits of active travel and cycling schemes. In short, they've dropped the ball.
However, we should not let the Council's characteristically poor implementation undo TfL-funded schemes to improve cycling across the borough.
Local Lib Dem Campaigner, Chloe-Jane Ross, asked the Council’s Highways Team why the scheme had not been designed to link up with the long proposed TfL cycle quietway along Worsley Bridge Road to Lower Sydenham. The initial design did not seem to consider this. After this being raised, the Council have now secured TfL funding to install traffic lights on Westgate Road Bridge to return traffic to a two-way system so cyclists will be able to get to the Quietway without having to traverse busy Beckenham Junction. This will also resolve issues on Westgate Road Bridge, something Beckenham Lib Dems have long campaigned for.
As well as returning Westgate Road Bridge to two-way with traffic lights, the Council now propose to make Albemarle Rd two-way again between Beckenham Junction and Westgate Rd.
We think these changes will make the scheme better and balance the needs of cyclists and motorists - most importantly it will enable the cycle scheme to link to existing cycle routes at Lower Sydenham.